WAY member Diana from the Isle of Wight writes about ringing in the New Year with five fellow WAYers and their 11 children, who travelled from Scotland, Wigan, Manchester and Reading to mark this milestone together…
Ringing in a New Year is a milestone we often share with our family and friends. Whilst for many it’s a night of fun and fireworks, for others it’s a poignant moment of reflection.
My first New Year after losing my husband was agonising. The feeling of leaving him behind and beginning a New Year without him highlighted the painful realisation that he was part of my history and not my future. Being a young widow with two children to bring up this new future looked scary, bleak and lonely.
One of my saving graces since being widowed was joining the charity WAY (Widowed and Young) and meeting people going through the same experiences. These new friendships have helped me navigate this ‘new normal’. Spending time with them is effortless as they are all also navigating this difficult journey.
For the last two years I’ve spent New Year Eve with these special friends and whilst it’s still not an easy night, we feel as if we’re linking arms and facing the future together making it look less scary and less lonely. In fact, our howling laughter from playing a silly board game that evening was such a contrast to the howls of pain two years earlier. We’ve learnt that the grief will never go away but joy and fun can sit alongside it. And with these friends by my side this New Year, our new normal looks far from bleak.